Obvious title aside, I love these profiles of individuals reading The New York Times. Personal reading habits interest me. They are a great bellwether of media consumption, as well as distribution of the news and information that moves societies.
It’s interesting to note what people seek out in the Times, how they interpret what they read, and what they share with others. Anna Deavere Smith is a sensational actor. Her focus on foreign policy and race shows through in her performances. Now I know where she gets her material.
It’s also interesting to note the format people choose for their news. It’s obvious from this profile that Smith reads a printed paper, as it was from a profile I read of Delia Ephron the other day. I think some of it’s habit, but I also think there’s increased focus and comprehension. I’m eager to see profiles of younger, equally influential readers. I wonder what role print plays in their consumption relative to screens. Something tells me I know the answer.
Another funny observation: how guilty we feel when we can read the paper in one sitting. It’s not a race, but there is a definite sense of accomplishment in attaining currency, however the reader defines it. That feeling isn’t limited to news junkies. I think it has to do with the infinite feeds that have taken over internet media.
Last but not least, I’m still in awe of the power of the NYTimes editorial page. In an era of multiple voices and multiple opinions, it’s amazing to see how much influence a Times editorial still holds, how much power and authority it commands. Amen.